Wow, today was so different from yesterday. We took a tour bus out on the autobahn, through the idealic scenery of Germany’s Romantic Road, passed cows in the fields and little Bavarian towns, up into the mountains to two of the most beautiful castles in the world.
King Ludwig II of Bavaria ‘s contempt for war, and his love for science and the arts, led to the construction of his Royal Villa, Linderhof Palace, and a castle so picturesque that Walt Disney used it’s likeness to create Cinderella’s home, Neuschwanstein Castle. Here in the Bavarian woods he isolated himself, built his fantasy homes, and was declared mad for emptying his own coffers instead of leading battle cries.
Strolling amongst the nymphs, elaborate ponds, and well manicured gardens of Linderhof Palace it was apparent as to why Mad King Ludwig would prefer to hide out here instead of in Munich with the bickering members of Parliament. Such a contrast to the barren roll call area occupid by the prisoners at Dachau, which would occur only half a century after the completion of Linderhof.
What would Ludwig have thought of the meager rations of the inmates compared to the 18 course meal he ate in his private dining room? Or of having to share his 8ft. square bed with a couple of other men? And, what would they have thought of his lavish gilded rooms? They probably would have loved to listen to music from his aeolodion, maybe they’d strip a tapestry or two off the wall to use as blankets.
Kevin and I thought Linderhof to be more liveable than Ludwig’s architectural masterpiece, Neuschwanstein. And unfortunately, just like today ‘s visit, he never got to see it with out scaffolding. He died before it was finished.
No princesses ever stood upon it’s balconys.
No knights ever fought dragons perched upon it’s turrets.
King Ludwig II ruled in the late 19th century but he admired the culture, kingship and tales of Medieval history. He also liked the technological advances of his time period, so the castle had indoor plumbing, heating, and electricity. Neauschwanstein is everyone’s idealized version of what a castle should be, even his.
Set high on a hill with the frosty Alps as background, a quaint village at it’s base, green fields and blue lakes off in the distance, the castle has gorgeous views outside every window. No one ever got to call it home, but millions, like us, have gotten to enjoy it.